Chidambaram, Sushma in a verbal duel on CVC

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Home Minister P Chidambaram andBJP leader Sushma Swaraj were today locked in a verbal duelwith the minister rejecting her claim that he had told theselection panel that CVC P J Thomas was acquitted of chargesin a corruption case.

Reacting to Swaraj''s statement that he had misled thethree-member selection committee including them and the PrimeMinister, Chidambaram issued a strong statement sayingactually she is "tying herself in knots" by making"thoughtless allegations".

"I take exception to the statement by Sushma Swaraj...

that I had ''misled the selection committee'' and told thecommittee that Thomas had been ''acquitted''.

"Firstly, if no sanction for prosecution had been grantedsince 1999 against P J Thomas (as admitted by her) how couldthe case have proceeded to trial or ended in an acquittal ofThomas? Secondly, if the Supreme Court had stayed the trial ofthe case (as admitted by her), is it not self-evident that thecase was pending and nobody could have been either acquittedor convicted?" he said.

The Home Minister said, "I reiterate that the committeewas aware of the palmolein case; that no sanction forprosecution of Thomas had been granted since 1999; that thecase was pending in the trial court; that the Supreme Courthad stayed the trial of the case; and that the then CVC hadgranted vigilance clearance in respect of Thomas." (More) PTIACB RC

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